Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Questions about Victorian gun and ammunition laws. Victorian Firearms Act 1996.

Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by ThePlinkster » 23 Feb 2021, 8:22 pm

Hey guys

Ever since I became a licensed shooter
So many people always told me that I've gotta keep quiet the fact that I am a licensed firearms owner this way I dont make myself a target for thieves etc
Which is fair enough, it's completely understandable
I always appreciated the advice

Out of curiosity though
I decided to do some research into this and I wanted to look at what the actual numbers and statistics were in terms of firearm thefts in Australia

I'll talk about my own state here the State of Victoria
(As that's what's most relevant to me obviously)

In Victoria, from the research that I have done, there seems to be AT LEAST around 100,000x licensed firearm owners here (AT LEAST)
Out of those 100,000x licensed firearm owners, in 2018, only around 200x of them were targeted by thieves and had their firearms stolen
(That 200x yearly number seems to be more or less constant every year)
200x people out of 100,000x people, that works out to be around 0.2% of licensed firearm owners that are targeted by thieves each year for their firearms here in Victoria

Technically speaking
If you were to look at the pure statistics only, you only have a 0.2% chance of being targeted by thieves for your firearms if you live in Victoria
(As only 0.2% of licensed firearm owners have their firearms stolen each year here in Victoria)

And for someone like me who lives in Metropolitan Melbourne
The chances of being robbed for your firearms seem to be even lower
Out of those 200x people that have their firearms stolen every year in Victoria
Only one third of those 200x thefts happens in Metropolitan Melbourne (around 66x people)
66x people out of 100,000x people, that works out to be a 0.07% chance of having your firearms stolen if you live in Metropolitan Melbourne
(If we were to look at the pure statistics alone)

We still have to be cautious of course but I found those numbers and those statistics to be very re-assuring

Interesting facts also;
- the vast majority of firearm thefts occur in residential houses
- in Victoria, the majority of firearm thefts occur in regional Victoria
- in Victoria, the vast majority of firearm thefts are classified as "unlawful entry with intent"
- in Victoria, armed robbery specifically targeting firearm owners is extremely extremely rare, only 2%
- whenever firearm thefts do occur, the vast majority of the time, the thieves use "force/tools" to get into the actual house
- whenever firearm thefts do occur, it seems to be pretty spread out about how the thieves actually steal the firearms
(between using force or tools to opening the safe or locating the key or ripping the entire safe off the wall)

Source: https://www.aic.gov.au/sites/default/fi ... a_2018.pdf
(Australian Institute of Criminology)
Last edited by ThePlinkster on 24 Feb 2021, 7:18 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by bladeracer » 23 Feb 2021, 8:32 pm

Good stuff.

Also worth noting that virtually none of the firearms that do get stolen ever get recovered being used in criminal activities, which is the government's reasoning behind punishing us for being victimised and allowing our firearms to be stolen.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by rc42 » 23 Feb 2021, 8:48 pm

Be careful with the statistics as the 900,000 licensed shooters will include a large number of couples or family members that share storage so the number of households with firearms will be actually be lower which means the likelihood of thieves breaking in and stealing firearms will be a little higher.
However, I would expect that it will still be in line with the typical percentage of houses that thieves visit annually with minimal deliberate targeting taking place, thieves that see a firearms safe will know that they can sell its contents for a lot of money so they will break in if they have the time and the tools.

Thieves in rural areas will be more likely to encounter a firearms safe so will likely go prepared, in cities they are more likely to be opportunistic and not targeted.

Police like to keep statistics about firearm thefts and their recovery or use by criminals quiet, maybe because it would highlight that many of their justifications for overly strict laws are just not true.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by Oldbloke » 23 Feb 2021, 9:14 pm

Very interesting. Yep, another mountain out of a mole hill. Thx Plinkster.

Love stat's.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by Ziege » 23 Feb 2021, 10:22 pm

they were very common over in my area for a while there, but that was mostly due to the Judicial system having no backbone and letting criminals use the race card to re-offend, if the recidivism had not been allowed by a gutless system there would have been very few and likely less people copying the original crims MO.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by No1Mk3 » 23 Feb 2021, 10:29 pm

G'day ThePlinkster,
You have a data error, there are appx. 900K shooters in Australia, not Victoria, Cheers.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by pomemax » 23 Feb 2021, 10:31 pm

Look into how many were stolen from a car/truck or how many were stolen from Police
If Im not mistaken it was a police Armorer stealing them in NSW not 100% on that so dont quote me
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by womble » 24 Feb 2021, 3:40 am

AIC is as a good a source of info you will find, but the info you seek is not let known.
Plus nobody really knows.

The link lists an average of 3 guns stolen per incident. I don’t think so. No licenced person owns 3 guns or less. They’re way too addictive. Plus theres been big hauls from gun shops that would beef up the averages.

And theres certainly a lot more unlicensed and unregistered firearms in Australia than legitimate ownership. How much more is speculation. Twice, three times as much quite possibly. Any thefts of which don’t get reported.

Prohibition is failing in spectacular fashion here. The authorities know it. The police on the ground know it.
The information released to the public is bulls**t. The line that firearm theft accounts for the gun violence dose’nt even get rolled out anymore. Too easy to dispute that bulls**t.
Anyone can just go online and buy a gun today. Just don’t buy it all at once. Simple.
Ak47 receiver is just a flat piece of metal with the fold lines marked out for you. Mega factories mainland china just of the worlds biggest shipping container ports, Hong Kong, shanghai. They have no restrictions on what they manufacture or where they sell. Crypto currencies accepted. There’s no trail for inspector plod in the buyers country to follow.
Just factories packed to the roof with machinery to pump out small parts in bulk. Cnc and 3D printers/software. All they need is the drawing you provide and can do any material you want.
China and it’s surrounding region now has largest market share of illicit arms and drugs. Two of the biggest global industries. And they control the shipping lanes.
Thanks to our location and ease of access, crime syndicates and corrupt authorities here are getting a generous slice of the action.

It is a worry and states are scrambling to find ways to manage it. The bill they are trying to introduce in nsw is one example. The special dedicated taskforce in vic is another.
Just generally police forces buying up on high powered semi-auto assault rifles and forming better response units, because they know situations are coming where their members will be severely out gunned.
Another early sign, people caught with illicit firearms not being imposed the strict sentences. Can’t house them at taxpayers expense and not enough spaces available.

We are being flooded with illegal guns and parts because the demand is so high.
So is Canada since their adoption of tougher gun laws.
The question is which of us will highlight the failings on the international stage first. Politically that’s not what Australia wants to show the world. Because we’ve boasted so hard about our alleged success here. And it’s a lie.

And it will be us, because supply will exceed demand here first.

For us as licenced legitimate gun owners theres only two directions a government can take. Conservative or liberal.
Because the war on guns here is now in league with the war on drugs. Not winning.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by ThePlinkster » 24 Feb 2021, 6:54 am

No1Mk3 wrote:G'day ThePlinkster,
You have a data error, there are appx. 900K shooters in Australia, not Victoria, Cheers.

G'day No1Mk3
You are right
I wrote that thread a little quickly last night as the missus was in a hurry to get me off the computer lol
But yes
You are correct
There are around 900,000x licensed guns in Victoria
Not 900,000x licensed people
I read that data wrong last night as I was in a little hurry because of the missus lol
I fixed that data error in the main original thread now
Thank you
:thumbsup:

From the research that I have done
NSW & VIC always had quite similar numbers in terms of guns and guns ownership figures
That's why I estimated what VIC's numbers were based on NSW's figures
:thumbsup:
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by linkoln » 24 Feb 2021, 7:12 am

Sometimes it is hard not to tell people you are a shooter because it is something you enjoy but I would definitely keep that between you and people who you trust and not spread it around too much.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by Oldbloke » 24 Feb 2021, 12:30 pm

linkoln wrote:Sometimes it is hard not to tell people you are a shooter because it is something you enjoy but I would definitely keep that between you and people who you trust and not spread it around too much.


:thumbsup:
And no "winchester" signs on back window of the ute.
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Post by cz515 » 24 Feb 2021, 2:23 pm

Some wrote in your data as expected. But one thing, i would assume that of the 200,000 licensed firearm people residing in metro is not exactly half. I would guess more than 2/3 actuality live in metro areas.
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Post by womble » 24 Feb 2021, 2:52 pm

Ok. Are you ready to feel sick in guts ?
You may want to sit down for this > http://www.toomanyguns.org/
Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by womble » 24 Feb 2021, 2:55 pm

Awesome it no longer works. Well it used to make me upset.
Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by cz515 » 24 Feb 2021, 4:58 pm

It's working for me
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Post by Lsfan » 24 Feb 2021, 6:18 pm

Not working for me. Anyway, there is a stigma about guns and gun ownership generally. I choose to not tell people I am Licensed and have guns because I’ll be judged. I’m only new to this sport and used to judge people a little myself. If people were made aware of the process in getting a licence and the controls we must follow, I think they may be a bit more open minded and also realise the people committing the crimes are the ones who are unlicensed and acquire the firearms illegally. I’d be happy to see zero thefts and have done my best to keep my stuff safe. As someone said above though, probably the incidents with police and gun shops have inflated the numbers
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by Gamerancher » 24 Feb 2021, 6:55 pm

Woo Hoo, I still win in my postcode, F#CK the Greens!!!
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by ThePlinkster » 24 Feb 2021, 7:21 pm

Lsfan wrote:Not working for me. Anyway, there is a stigma about guns and gun ownership generally. I choose to not tell people I am Licensed and have guns because I’ll be judged. I’m only new to this sport and used to judge people a little myself. If people were made aware of the process in getting a licence and the controls we must follow, I think they may be a bit more open minded and also realise the people committing the crimes are the ones who are unlicensed and acquire the firearms illegally. I’d be happy to see zero thefts and have done my best to keep my stuff safe. As someone said above though, probably the incidents with police and gun shops have inflated the numbers

If those numbers have been inflated
That's actually a very good thing though
Because that then means that the percentage of licensed firearm owners that are targeted by thieves every year is even lower than 0.2%
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by Lsfan » 24 Feb 2021, 7:39 pm

ThePlinkster wrote:
Lsfan wrote:Not working for me. Anyway, there is a stigma about guns and gun ownership generally. I choose to not tell people I am Licensed and have guns because I’ll be judged. I’m only new to this sport and used to judge people a little myself. If people were made aware of the process in getting a licence and the controls we must follow, I think they may be a bit more open minded and also realise the people committing the crimes are the ones who are unlicensed and acquire the firearms illegally. I’d be happy to see zero thefts and have done my best to keep my stuff safe. As someone said above though, probably the incidents with police and gun shops have inflated the numbers

If those numbers have been inflated
That's actually a very good thing though
Because that then means that the percentage of licensed firearm owners that are targeted by thieves every year is even lower than 0.2%

I agree with you that it could be a good thing. I’d like to think that crims generally don’t know who has firearms, but I remember reading on another thread, the potential for crims to get access to dealer information, or dealers leaving records out etc. even someone suggested thieves following people home from dealers or ranges. That’s a bit scary if it happens.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by linkoln » 25 Feb 2021, 10:50 am

Lsfan wrote:I choose to not tell people I am Licensed and have guns because I’ll be judged. I’m only new to this sport and used to judge people a little myself. If people were made aware of the process in getting a licence and the controls we must follow, I think they may be a bit more open minded

Anyone who thinks gun owners are bad should go to any range and talk to some of the people there. I have never met a licences shooter who was a bad person.
I took my two of my home made targets to the range the other day and they were heavy and the guy in the booth next to me offered to carry one for me even though we had only said hello and discussed our guns for a few seconds during the cease fire.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by Oldbloke » 25 Feb 2021, 3:05 pm

Agree, vast majority are good.

I'm convinced about 5 to 10% of people don't think the rules apply to them. But I like to think shooters/hunters do a little better than that.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by ThePlinkster » 25 Feb 2021, 5:00 pm

An interesting fact to note as well is that;

Out of the 0.2% of licensed firearm owners that have their guns stolen each year by thieves in Victoria

A big proportion of that 0.2% seems to be "opportunistic thefts" as well

Where thieves just broke into a random house
They randomly stumbled accross a rifle safe
And just happened to randomly steal rifles
(No premeditation, just luck)

That then means that the percentage of licensed firearm owners that are specifically targeted for their firearms each year by thieves in Victoria is even lower than 0.2%

If those numbers/statistics from the Australian Institute of Criminology are correct
(Which I think they should be)

Then those numbers/statistics are remarkable

While we should still be cautious and take every precaution
Those statistics are definitely in our favour and are a great peace of mind for us shooters
:thumbsup:
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by BangWhizzClack » 26 Feb 2021, 8:02 am

I would assume that anybody who was caught and thrown in front of a judge would not admit to carefully targeting and scouting a home. If you say you were just being opportunistic, a judge would think there is a greater chance of rehabilitation.
Isn't it about time we get some gun rights?

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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by ThePlinkster » 26 Feb 2021, 8:38 am

BangWhizzClack wrote:I would assume that anybody who was caught and thrown in front of a judge would not admit to carefully targeting and scouting a home. If you say you were just being opportunistic, a judge would think there is a greater chance of rehabilitation.

What leads me to believe that a lot of the 0.2% of firearm thefts are "opportunistic thefts" is the fact that when firearms are stolen, a big proportion of the time, other goods are stolen at the same time as well. That leads me to believe that firearms weren't the specific target of the burglary.

If thieves break into a house and steal everything they can get their hands on. It is definitely a sign that that house wasn't specifically targeted for its firearms. The thieves just stole whatever they could find in the house and firearms just happened to be part of what they stole.
(Not specifically targeted)

0.2% of licensed firearm owners have their guns stolen each year in VIC
A proportion of that 0.2% would definitely be "opportunistic thefts"
Meaning that the percentage of licensed firearm owners that are specifically carefully targeted by thieves each year in Victoria is even lower than 0.2%
(Which is good news for us firearm owners)
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by ThePlinkster » 26 Feb 2021, 2:54 pm

If a thief breaks into a house
Doesn't steal any belongings at all
But steals ONLY firearms
Then definitely you can say that this was a specifically firearm targeted burglary
(Which is bad news)
(It means the thief got your personal info somehow)
(God knows what other info they may have on you)
(There was planning into it)
(Most likely stalking involved etc)
(Bad news)

But if a thief breaks into a house
- Steals a PlayStation
- Steals a laptop
- Steals jewelry
- Steals firearms
- Steals underwear
Then it's quite clear that that thief was just trying to steal everything he could get his hands on and that there is then a higher chance that that burglary most likely wasn't a specifically firearm targeted burglary
There is then a higher chance also that this could've been just a random act of burglary
(Which is better news)
(The burglary then most likely wasnt as targeted)
(There was most likely less planning into it)
(Definitely better news)

Long story short;
- if thieves steal firearms + other goods
(Even though theft and burglary is a terrible experience)
That's actually a good sign, or a better sign at least

In Victoria
When firearms are stolen
Most of the time, other goods are stolen at the same time
:thumbsup:
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by cz515 » 26 Feb 2021, 4:07 pm

And what about someone who knows you have firearms, breaks into your house to steal the firearms but while there take a bit of a fancy to your play station, your laptop, the nice watch the car keys

How do you class that.

While the probability of someone staging your firearms is very very low, but once someone steals them then it's a 100% certainty that your firearms were stolen


In other words, keep your firearms secure, don't advertise to everyone you have firearms, have indirect and just relax and enjoy life instead of worrying about s**t that you have no control over.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by womble » 26 Feb 2021, 4:26 pm

Exactly.
Statistically it is highly unlikely a lion will eat my face.
But i still don’t go around wearing a juicy porterhouse steak on my head.
Just common sense really.
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Re: Firearm Thefts. How Common Are They?

Post by ThePlinkster » 26 Feb 2021, 4:38 pm

Interestingly speaking

On a purely statistical basis

We are all 10x times more likely to experience a random normal break in, than we are having someone breaking in into our homes with the specific premeditated intention of stealing our rifles (Another re-assuring statistic)

But yes
I agree anyway
- secure your rifles as well as possible
- take all the precautions you can
- don't advertise that you have firearms too much
- relax, take it easy and enjoy the sport
:thumbsup:
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